Photo permission for studio photos

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cannonball
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Photo permission for studio photos

Postby cannonball » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:31 pm

There is a photo posted by member awaiting permission from administrator that was taken in photo studio and has name of studio imprinted on photo. Is it permissible to post said photo to website?

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sbradshaw
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Re: Photo permission for studio photos

Postby sbradshaw » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:39 pm

The administrator is a member of your ward who may or may not enforce copyright laws – but most professional studio photos do not allow you to freely copy or scan photos that they've taken.

Some photo studios will provide you with digital copies of the photos and a signed release form, if you request it (generally you will have to pay more). Essentially, the photographer owns the copyright and you are paying only for their service of photo taking, not for the rights to the photos.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

jdlessley
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Re: Photo permission for studio photos

Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:29 pm

cannonball wrote:Is it permissible to post said photo to website?

When uploading a photo the upload guidelines are displayed. Note the first two bullets of those guidelines:
Before uploading photos of individuals and families, please verify the following:

• The member has the right to display the photo. Verify no copyright infringement, especially regarding professional studio photographs.
• The photo does not display trademarks or the intellectual property of others. The photo should not appear to promote products or services nor should it display registered marks.

Even if the studio grants display rights the second bullet also places restrictions on the photo containing trademarks or the appearance of promoting the studio's services. I don't know if the name of a studio on the image would be considered a trademark or not. If it includes the symbols TM or SM then it is definitely a registered mark. As a clerk I avoid approving such photos and ask that only photos that strictly comply with the photo upload guidelines be submitted.
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aebrown
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Re: Photo permission for studio photos

Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:01 pm

jdlessley wrote:If it includes the symbols TM or SM then it is definitely a registered mark.

Although I agree with most of your careful warnings, this particular statement is inaccurate. TM and SM are specifically for unregistered trademarks. The ® symbol is used for registered trademarks.

russellhltn
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Re: Photo permission for studio photos

Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:23 pm

The photo should not appear to promote products or services


Personally, I think that would do it for me. Why else is the name of the studio in the photo if not to promote it?

But even if everything was copasetic, I'm not sure as I'd like to approve it. If someone sees one member with a studio shot, they'll ask why theirs isn't approved.
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aebrown
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Re: Photo permission for studio photos

Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:04 pm

russellhltn wrote:
The photo should not appear to promote products or services

Personally, I think that would do it for me. Why else is the name of the studio in the photo if not to promote it?

The primary reason for the studio name on a photo is to indicate that it is copyrighted, not to promote it. Most studio names on photos are very small and would not be much of a promotion. So I think a blanket assumption that a studio name is promotional is quite a stretch.

Remember that the guidelines say: "Verify no copyright infringement, especially regarding professional studio photographs." I can't imagine why that wording would be chosen if a blanket prohibition on studio photographs were intended. Instead, photo approvers are instructed to "verify no copyright infringement." The clear implication of this wording is that it is certainly possible that there are some professional studio photographs where there is no copyright infringement.

I personally have received permission (for an extra cost) from a professional studio to use digital versions of photos they took of my family on a website for non-commercial purposes. Those digital images have the name of the studio in tiny letters in a corner. Using those images on the Directory will in no way infringe on the copyright held by the studio, since express permission to use the photos was granted by the studio.

Clearly, photo approvers need to exercise proper care in avoiding copyright infringement, but let's not make up restrictions that are not actually in the official guidelines.

russellhltn wrote:But even if everything was copasetic, I'm not sure as I'd like to approve it. If someone sees one member with a studio shot, they'll ask why theirs isn't approved.

I see no problem with such a question. There's a very simple answer you can give them: "If you can provide written documentation showing that you have permission from the studio to post this photo on the Directory, I'll be happy to approve it; otherwise, Church policy prohibits me from approving it."

kisaac
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Re: Photo permission for studio photos

Postby kisaac » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:26 pm

Of course, We must be legally correct- and for the U.S. the source for your info is found at http://www.copyright.gov/

    Any work is COPYRIGHTED in the U.S. UPON CREATION, with some conditions. When I snap that photo, it is now copyrighted by me. I could stamp my name on it or not, I could choose to register the work with the government or not, I could sell it or not, but it is still my copyrighted work. Don't confuse Trade Mark (TM) with copyright!

    With said COPYRIGHT, I alone have the right to: Reproduce, Display publicly, Prepare derivative works, or distribute copies for sale, rental or lending, and/or to display the image. I can also give or sell to you any or a portion of those rights for my image

So, we've got that out of the way, and the worms are wriggling right out of that can! It would now seem that written permission from the studio or photographer to use the image in your online directory seems to be all that you need, in my view, for a "professional photograph". You may have to pay for those permissions, or maybe not. Some may argue "fair use," but when our reputation for being honest is at stake, I like Elder Bednar's advice recently at BYU Campus education week in his talk on social media, "To sweep the Earth as with a Flood"
Respect Intellectual Property

Third, we and our messages should respect the property of other people and organizations. This simply means that you should not create your own content using someone else’s art, name, photos, music, video, or other content without permission.
https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/to-sweep-the-earth-as-with-a-flood?lang=eng

Again, that word permission comes up....


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